Post-Surf Stretches and the Benefits of Surfing
Strike up a conversation with anyone who has a passion for surfing and it won’t be long before they start describing how nothing beats paddling out on your board as the ocean is lapping underneath you. For many, waiting for that perfect wave is like a moment of zen—one that they relish almost as much as riding it into shore.
It’s safe to say, surfers are confident their sport is good for their health. And the truth is, they’re not wrong.
If you’re thinking of taking up surfing, or at the very least trying it out during your visit to Hilton Head, you’ll be happy to know that hitting the waves comes with some serious health benefits. Today, we’re taking a look at those benefits, as well as offer a few post-surf stretching tips you need to know if you want to stay on the water even longer!
Riding the Cardio Wave
It should come as no surprise that surfing is great for cardio. After all, much of your time on a surfboard is spent paddling against the waves, pulling yourself up into position to ride, and back up onto the board once your ride is over. Spend enough time on the water, and you’ll start to notice a jump in your cardiovascular conditioning, which is excellent because surfing takes a lot of stamina!
Surf’s up for Shoulder Strength
All the paddling you’ll be doing comes with another benefit—shoulder and back strength. Much like swimming, paddling is sure to build the muscles in your back and shoulders, as well as your upper body in general. And, of course, once you’re standing on your board, you’ll get more than a thrill; you’ll also get an excellent core workout. After all, with the motion of the ocean under your board, you’ll need outstanding balance to stay steady and ready to catch the next wave.
A Wavy Workout
If it wasn’t clear already, surfing is a great workout—one that can burn serious calories while also being a lot of fun. In fact, the average size American male could potentially burn 269 calories from an hour spent on a surfboard. Not bad for some fun time spent on the water!
A Better Sleep
Many surfers will be quick to tell you that the best time to hit the waves is in the early morning. Simply put, you need to rise and shine to truly ride and shine. Luckily, surfing can help with that. Surfing, like many forms of exercise, can help physically and mentally prepare you for a good night’s sleep. And when you wake feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, you’ll be ready to paddle out for a serene morning on the water.
An Easy Way to Take Your Vitamins
When you’re out on the waves, you’re also out in the sun, which means you’ll be basking in vitamin D. This is the vitamin that regulates the calcium and phosphorus in your blood, making it essential for developing and strengthening your bones. Of course, it’s also crucial to remember to apply waterproof sunscreen while you’re surfing. After all, you don’t want too much of a good thing!
It’s important to stretch after doing any physical activity, and surfing is no exception. Once you get out of the water, be sure to give your body a few minutes to warm up before you start a post-surf stretching routine.
The stretches you do after your surfing session will reduce muscle fatigue, and help keep you loose and limber for the rest of your day. A few of our favorite post-surf stretches include:
Simple Neck Stretches –
Toe Touches –
Shoulder Stretches –
Standing Quad Stretch –
Standing Knee Hugs –
The Figure Four –
“The Best Surfer Out There is the One Having the Most Fun” – Phil Edwards
Now that you know a few of the benefits of surfing and how to take care of yourself after a session in the water, it’s time to hit the waves! Don’t worry if you’ve never surfed before, because it’s easy to sign-up for surf lessons that teach the fundamentals you need to stay safe and have fun. Bring the entire family for a group lesson or get some one-on-one time to ensure your time spent on the water is a (hang) ten out of ten!